Hollywood tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger took one in the eye this weekend, when a US court overruled a law he signed forcing games companies to restrict the sale of violent software.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said that the law requiring an '18' certificate on any games the state of California deemed to be violent was unconstitutional and a violation of free speech.

Controversial opinion

The court described "the state's controversial opinion" as invalid, finding that it also failed to provide evidence that such games could be harmful to minors.

Instead of the mandatory ratings system, the games industry prefers to educate parents about safer gaming and use a voluntary rating approach.

Waste of money

Nevertheless, the law's authors plan to appeal the latest ruling to the Supreme Court, a move which prompted sighs from game makers.

Michael Gallagher of the Entertainment Software Association said: "This is a clear signal that in California and across the country, the reckless pursuit of anti-video game legislation like this is an exercise in wasting taxpayer money, government time and state resources."